Tag Archives: meltdown

U.S. Has 2-5 Years Before Financial Meltdown

We all know it’s coming, but how long will it be before the United States reaches the point of no return? Senator Tom Coburn believes our “Greece” moment of financial meltdown is coming within 2 to 5 years, saying that the federal government is in the “midst of committing murder to our republic”.

Famous Person Gets Pet Sloth, Completely Freaks Out

Kristen Bell, Left

You know, I think I’ve finally arrived as a journalist, now that I’ve gotten to type this headline.  Kristen Bell (Couples Retreat) recently went on a daytime television show and shared home video of her FREAKING out over the delivery of a surprise birthday present: A pet sloth.  Folks, I can’t make this up.  Enjoy a more lighthearted video after months of dealing with this Republican Primary…
 

Alec Baldwin Has A Twitter Meltdown; Keder And SooperMexican Get Featured On The Five

Rumor has it that Alec Baldwin had a little bit of a Twitter meltdown last night.  I missed out on it live, but I caught a little bit of it this morning on this website. (check it out; it’s pretty nutty)  The Five, a show with five hosts that comes on at 5pm (get it?), decided to feature some of the meltdown in one of their segments today.  It just so happens that I know and follow two of the tweeters they show Alec Baldwin getting into it with. (@keder and @SooperMexican)  If you’re into conservative politics and snark (and who isn’t?), then you’ll want to check these two guys out for sure.  Watch the video below, and make sure to check out the link above, to catch all the zaniness.

And if you’d like to show support for these brave heroes that went up against one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, be sure to send them love on Facebook or in the comments below.

#Occupy Meltdown

Thanks to Townhall.com for this video. There truly are no words to explain this video. It’s sad, ridiculous, disgusting and hilarious all at the same time. If this is what our country has come to, we most certainly are in trouble!

 

How to Prepare for Radioactive Fallout

When it comes to protecting yourself from a potentially radioactive fallout situation from the Japanese reactors that have gone awry you have three things going in your favor – time, distance, and mass.

Make that four things, the last being Potassium Iodide (KI). If you have to prioritize your preparations to survive a fallout situation in the next few days, put this item first on your list. You will have to act fast if you want to get some Potassium Iodide.

Geiger Counter

I saw a report a few minutes ago (Monday, March 14, 2011) on a local TV news broadcast that supplies of Potassium Iodide were running out. If you want to get some then stop thinking like the herd. Most people are going to swarm their local pharmacies and emergency preparedness stores. At this point in time it is unlikely you are going to find any Potassium Iodide left on their shelves. But all is not lost. The herd is looking for Potassium Iodide pills. But I’ll let you in on a little secret. You can get the same substance from chemical supply warehouses. The only difference is that it will not be in pill form. Instead, you can purchase Potassium Iodide in its crystallized form – Potassium Iodide is just a salt. It will look like a white powder. All you have to do when you acquire some is to dissolve it in water and drink it. You will get the same protection as those people who overpaid for the convenience of obtaining Potassium Iodide in pill form.

What makes Potassium Iodide so important in protecting yourself from radioactive fallout? It is simple, really. Potassium Iodide floods the thyroid gland thus preventing radioactive iodine-131 from lodging in the thyroid. It makes for a strong defense against thyroid problems. When particles of radioactive iodine-131 get into the bloodstream you are facing the problem of internal contamination. This radioactive iodine finds its way to the thyroid gland and unless the gland has already been filled to capacity with Potassium Iodide it lodges within the thyroid – which is very bad from a medical standpoint.

The thyroid gland cannot tell the difference between stable iodine (Potassium Iodide) and radioactive Iodine-131. Thus we are faced with a situation of whatever reaches the thyroid first, wins. Once Potassium Iodide floods the thyroid gland your thyroid gland is protected for 24 hours. It takes the thyroid gland 24 hours to flush the Potassium Iodide. Therefore, take a second dose within 24 hours and keep doing so until there is no more threat of internal contamination – Which brings me to my second point in preparations to survive a radioactive fallout scenario.

You will need a Geiger counter to be absolutely sure your place of refuge is free of radioactive contamination. I bought mine several years ago off of E-Bay. It only cost me $12. It runs off of D-size batteries. I would assume that capitalism is hard at work and sellers, aware of the public’s sudden obsession with radioactivity, are going to inflate the price. Each of you will have to make a decision as to whether or not paying an inflated price for a Geiger counter is worth it.

We are fortunate that we do not have to prepare shelters against the effects of nuclear blast at this time. We only have to prepare to deal with the effects of radioactive contamination. You still have time to do so. What I described above is how to protect your thyroid gland against internal contamination by radioactive Iodine-131. However, Potassium Iodide only protects your thyroid gland. It does nothing to protest the rest of your body against radioactive isotopes. Your first line of defense is time. Radioactive Iodine-131 only has a half-life of a little more than eight (8) days. It can take up to ten (10) days for radioactive particles in the stratosphere to go from Japan to the United States. This is the protection of time and distance mentioned at the beginning of this article. In such a scenario, many of these radioactive particles may circle and earth several times to many times before falling to earth. But some of those will fall to earth on the first pass. Those are the particles we are most concerned with.

Remember: time, distance, and mass. In the case of the reactors in Japan those of us in North America have the advantages of time and distance on our side. So, how do you protect your home against radioactive fallout? Once again, it is a simple process. Get in your vehicle and go to your local hardware store and buy yourself several rolls of painters plastic. While you are at it be sure to also purchase a large supply of painter’s or masking tape. You can use other types of tape but masking tape won’t peel the paint off of your walls later on when you remove it. When you get back home your job is going to be to place plastic over every possible entrance into your home. This includes windows, electrical outlets, clothes dryer exhausts, doors, light fixtures in the ceilings, cable TV coaxial cables entering the house, etc. In other words, if there is ANY possibility that air can move between the interior of the home and the outside world, then it needs to be sealed off with the plastic sheeting and masking tape.

Sealing a house can be a time-consuming process. Therefore, I recommend that you perform an inspection of your residence and make a list of the dimensions of plastic sheets that you need for each room. Then, go to the trouble to pre-cut the shapes and sizes needed for each room. Label the sheets and separate by room so that you can quickly access exactly what you need when you need it.  I recommend sealing off as large of a space as possible because you will then have a greater volume of oxygen at your disposal. You will know when to seal off your house either by listening to news reports or by monitoring the level of radioactivity in your home with your newly-purchased Geiger counter. Once sealed inside your home or other place of refuge you will find that you need various supplies in order to survive. I have spent many years assembling both emergency 72-hour kits as well as a year’s supply of food, clothing, and fuel. Actually, I now have approximately a four-year supply of food and supplies. I whole-heartedly recommend that you do the same. Remember, when an emergency occurs the time for preparation is past. You will have discovered that principle for yourself as you vainly searched for Potassium Iodide pills the past few days.

You will need food, clothing, medical supplies, communications, water, sanitary products, and fuel. Below are links to governmental resources and private companies than can assist you in your preparations. I am not affiliated with any of them and will not participate in any financial profit derived from your business. I simply am offering them up to you as a public service.

There are a multitude of other sources. A simple search on Google, Bing, or any other internet search engine will give you more sources than you could ever utilize.

I quote from Nuclear War Survival Skills:

The public’s exaggerated fears of extremely small amounts of radiation also are worsened by the media’s use without explanations of very small units of radiation measurement, including the picocurie. (The picocurie is used to measure the radiation of milk, water, etc., and is only one millionth of one millionth [1/1,000,000,000,000] of a curie.) One episode in which fears of radiation were thus worsened occurred shortly after the invisible fallout cloud from the Chernobyl disaster first reached the United States. Some listeners were frightened when a radio announcer merely stated that milk samples in northwest Oregon showed 118 picocuries per liter of radioactive iodine. Few Americans know that they will not be advised to stop using fresh milk unless its contamination if 15,000 picocuries or more per liter – as specified in the Food and Drug Administration’s very cautious “Protective Action Guidance”, published in the Federal Register of October 22, 1982.

The maximum measured radioactive contamination of milk in the United States by iodine-131 from the Chernobyl disaster was in milk produced by cows grazing on pasture in Washington: 560 picocuries per liter. The much greater potential danger from trans-Pacific war fallout is brought out by the fact that the approximately 300-kiloton Chinese test explosion of December 28, 1968 resulted in worse iodine-131 contamination of milk produced by a cow grazing on pasture near Oak Ridge, Tennessee: 900 picocuries per liter. Even a small overseas nuclear war with only 20 or so kiloton-range nuclear explosions could cause high enough contamination of milk to result in the Government’s warning Americans to refrain from using fresh milk. Most Americans would heed this warning and would not drink or otherwise use fresh milk for weeks. In addition, a small overseas nuclear war possibly would cause a few American casualties years to decades later.

The one thing we haven’t yet discussed is the protection of mass. Radioactive particles emit radiation.

There are many types of fallout shelters. Remember, mass is your protection. Perhaps the simplest thing to do is to go to your basement, if you have one, and pile dense, high-mass objects in such a way as to make a shelter you can climb in to. The best place for the shelter would be in a corner since two sides, and the floor already are protected by lots of mass. I actually use my food storage for this purpose. Any radioactive particle that wants to reach me and my family is going to have to first go through tons of wheat, beans, rice, sugar, water, meat, cooking oils, refried beans, and corn, etc. The radioactivity won’t harm the food. In fact, it will simply have the effect of sterilizing it! Protected by mass, few of those radioactive emissions will reach the people inside the shelter.

So, how do you know you need to proceed to your fallout shelter? One of two ways – either listen to instructions from local civil defense authorities or just consult your personal Geiger counter. I am fortunate in the fact that I live in a county where much of our nation’s stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons are stored. You simply would not believe the resources and sophistication of my local civil defense organization. They are well prepared! As a HAM radio operator, I am part of their network and I can be activated in times of emergencies to provide communications services on behalf of the public. I suggest you purchase a short-wave receiver so that you can tune in to news broadcasts, government transmissions, HAMs, and other transmissions on a global basis. This will give you the ability to hear for yourself what is happening in Japan from Japanese radio broadcasts. This way you do not depend on local news sources – which filter the news to fit their own needs – not yours.

Above all else do not panic. If you perform the simple measures I have outlined above, you will most likely be well-protected in the event of radioactive fallout in your area. Remember, you have the advantages of time, distance, mass, and Potassium Iodide. You can easily but the plastic sheeting and masking tape required to seal off your home from radioactive Iodine-131. You still have approximately one week before any winds carrying radioactive particles could even conceivably reach the United States. In all likelihood, you have even longer than that.

Don’t panic, prepare yourself, and become a source of strength for yourself and your neighbors. Hopefully, we won’t experience a major radioactive fallout situation within the United States. But if you are prepared for it, it won’t matter to you. Remember – when an emergency occurs, the time for preparation is past. Prepare now and you have no reason to fear. Don’t prepare and you could very well face the consequences of your poor choice.

What is Nuclear Meltdown

News out of Japan is replete with the technical lingo of nuclear power generation: fuel rod, exposure, feed and bleed, hydrogen explosion and meltdown. While no one intends to become a nuclear physicist overnight, these terms are not as complicated to understand as many think.

Nuclear Fuel Rod

Energy Net.org

When understanding a Nuclear Reactor Meltdown, first consider what is melting. It is not the reactor, but instead, the fuel rods that are melting. Nuclear power reactor fuel rods are not solid rods of radioactive material. The rod is actual a container for a column of radioactive fuel pellets.

In a boiling water reactor (BWR) such as those at the ill-fated Fukushima power plant, water is used to keep the rods cool during power generation.  Meltdown can occur when the coolant is no longer covering some or all of the fuel rod assembly – and that is what has occurred in Japan.

Nuclear Fuel Rod Meltdown

Once the fuel rod assembly is partially or fully exposed, or having a portion of its surface not covered by coolant, intense heat goes unchecked. The nuclear fuel will then heat-up to a point where the containment rod will melt.  In the most extreme case, the fuel pellets will then fall to the bottom of the reactor chamber, continue heating and melt into a lava-like mass of super-heated radioactive sludge. This pool of nuclear material could then melt through the floor of the containment vessel and expose the environment to massive amounts of radiation – this is commonly known as “China Syndrome”.

Feed and Bleed: Fukushima Reactor Cooling Still Dicey

In a maneuver called “feed and bleed” Japanese engineers are performing a hail Mary style attempt at cooling the troubled Fukushima reactor that has at least partially melted down.

How a Boiling Water Reactor Works

Click to Animate - It's cool.. I swear

The technique involves feeding, or rather pumping, cold water into the reactor’s pressure vessel, but they can only do that for a short time. As the water hits the overheated fuel rods, it boils. The resulting steam raises the pressure inside the chamber to a point where no more water can be pumped in.  To allow more cold water to be pumped in, the chamber must be bled. Bleeding is accomplished by allowing the superheated gases to escape through vents – these vents are described in a nirs.org fact sheet[1] on boiling water reactors (BWR).

The vent is a reinforced pipe installed in the torus and designed to release radioactive high pressure steam generated in a severe accident by allowing the unfiltered release directly to the atmosphere through the 300 foot vent stack.

Sometimes the steam also carries Hydrogen in a gaseous form which is suspected of causing the explosions at Fukushima reactors #1 and #3.  Since those explosions are outside the reactor chamber, no damage to the pressure vessel usually occurs.

One of the most important considerations to this procedure is the condition of the fuel rods, the New York Times posted the ramifications of compromised rods.

When the fuel was intact, the steam they were releasing had only modest amounts of radioactive material, in a nontroublesome form. With damaged fuel, that steam is getting dirtier.

Another potential concern is that some Japanese reactors (as well as some in France and Germany) run on a mixed fuel known as mox, or mixed oxide, that includes reclaimed plutonium. It is not clear whether the stricken reactors are among those, but if they are, the steam they release could be more toxic.

Here, the Old Grey Lady missed something. On day one of the disaster, Japanese officials released that Fukushima #3 used Plutonium MOX (mixed-oxide). Mixed-oxide is dirtier and could present a greater threat should the feed and bleed cause excessive venting of the pressure vessel.

 

Sources:
[1] http://www.nirs.org/factsheets/bwrfact.htm

[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/14/world/asia/japan-fukushima-nuclear-reactor.html?pagewanted=2&hp

Tsunamis Teach Lessons in Safety

Sen. Joe Leiberman appeared in an interview with Bob Schieffer on Sunday. In the interview, Leiberman made the case that the U.S. must reassess nuclear safety in the shadow of what happened in Japan. Is it reasonable to think we can harden our infrastructure against any possible future mishap?

If we take the angle that Leiberman and the rest of the anti-nuclear left peopose and build only the hardiest, volcanic eruption, meteor strike-proof reactors, shouldn’t we consider the other infrastructure items that were damaged or destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami?

So first lets look at the massive loss of life due to different infrastructure failures during the Japan disaster.

Trains: At least one passenger train with an unknown number of passengers completely disappeared in the tsuanmi – let’s call it .. 50 people gone

Bridges: 60 bridges collapsed, certainly at least one person was involved in those incidents: we’ll call it one person killed

Houses: An unknown number of houses came off their foundations, collapsed on their owners or otherwise failed to protect the occupants: current death toll is 1,596

Nuclear Reactors: Zero, nada, none, zilch, not one.

Out of a projected 20,000+ dead from the disaster, nuclear power plants were responsible for none.

Why aren’t we talking about banning bridges, high-speed rail, houses??  They caused far more death and injury.

Certainly high-speed trains should never pass through a quake zone or even some safety radius from a known fault fine – can you imagine the tragedy that could result?  The lesson we have to take from this is that we should not build trains, bridges, roads, houses, or much of anything else in earthquake-prone areas – like say ..  San Fransisco – those things just get far too many people killed.

Japan Probably Experiencing Nuclear Meltdown

In the aftermath of the Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, another crisis is erupting. The Wall Street Journal has reported that a “Japan Nuclear Reactor May Be in Meltdown”.

Japanese nuclear authorities said Saturday afternoon that a nuclear reactor about 150 miles north of Tokyo may be experiencing a meltdown after Friday’s massive earthquake damaged its cooling systems.

..

Radiation levels aren’t supposed to rise in a control room, which is designed to allow operators to continue working during emergencies and is equipped with filtration systems and other design features to protect workers from radiation exposure.

..

Reactors have containment domes to catch any release. But there is always the chance that an earthquake could create cracks or other breaches in that containment system.

 

Japanese Nuclear Crisis Status Summary

We’ll be pulling the most relevant and verified information from the timeline to keep a single updated status on on the Nuclear emergency in Japan:

Fukushima Daiichi Facility

3 reactors at the Fukushima no. 1 facility are experiencing serious cooling issues and may be melting down (nos. 1, 2, & 3). None of the reactor pressure vessels have been compromised, despite several explosions.

  • Saturday (U.S.)
    • The six nuclear reactors at Fukushima are experiencing cooling issues, but it is the Fukushima Daiichi No. 1 and No. 3 reactors that have or are experiencing probable fuel rod meltdown.
    • The first explosion at a non-reactor building at Fukushima was likely caused  by the make-shift cooling attempt. Water was pushed into the reactor chamber where it became superheated. The water separated into Hydrogen and Oxygen gas and when it was vented, the highly volatile Hydrogen gas ignited and exploded
    • Unit #3 has experienced a Hydrogen explosion (similar to what happened at reactor #1)
    • Both reactors are being flooded with a sea water and boron mixture to hopefully cool them
    • Up to 160 people have shown outward signs of radiation exposure resulting from the Fukushima plant crisis
  • Monday (U.S.)
    • The #2 reactor at the same plant now reportedly has fuel rods completely exposed (not to the atmosphere, just no water covering any part of them) – steam pressure likely winning the battle *see Feed and Bleed: Fukushima Reactor Cooling Still Dicey
    • Fukushima No. 2 reactor’s fuel rods fully exposed, melting feared
    • sea water pumping has resumed at #2 – fuel rods partially covered now
    • Massive explosion may have ruptured pressure vessel at #2 reactor. Report of radiation 10,000 times normal levels
    • Japanese officials stating that the reactor container appears damaged, suspicion is that damage is in the suppression pool

Onagawa Facility

  • Sunday (U.S.)
    • A state of emergency has been declared at a nuclear power plant in Onagawa, Japan, where excessive radiation levels have been recorded following Friday’s massive earthquake, the United Nations’ atomic watchdog agency said Sunday

Tokai No. 2 Facility

  • Sunday (U.S.)
    • The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said a cooling system pump stopped operating at Tokai No. 2 Power Statio

 

As we did with the quake and Tsunami, we will continue to follow this with an up-to-the-minute Timeline.

Japan Nuclear Crisis Timeline all times in U.S. EST (Japan is +13hrs)

Due to incredible web traffic, the timeline has been temporarily suspended. We are working to restore this functionality by adding more server capacity. Content to be manually updated until servers brought online.

 

3-24 11:09p

TEPCO detected zirconium 95 at 0.23 Bq 330m south of Fukushima-1 drainage outlet on Wednesday which indicates that the the cladding around the fuel is melting into a drainage outlet. Read this to understand melt down and cladding.

3-14 8:03p

TEPCO detects radiation of 8,217 micro sievert per hour, 8 times annual limit (09:03 Japan time) – that’s 8 years worth of radiation in one hour

TEPCO: All workers being evacuated except those critical for trying to cool the reactor.

3-14 7:50p

Higher radiation levels measured in Ibaraki — south of Fukushima

A check of weather in the Fukushima prefecture shows wind coming from the North and blowing south. Ibaraki radiation levels would most-likely be from the Fukushima plant

3-14 7:04p

Kyodo and Japanese officials state that a massive explosion has occurred at Fukushima plant no. 1 reactor #2. Radiation levels are reported to be 10,000 times normal (unconfirmed) and there is growing concern that the pressure vessel may be compromised.

Japanese government officials state:

“Part of the container of a troubled nuclear reactor appears to be damaged, the Japanese government said early Tuesday, indicating possible serious radiation leaks.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters that “damage appears on the suppression pool” — the bottom part of the container, which contains water used to cool down the reactor and control air pressure inside.

But we have not recorded any sudden jump in radiation indicators” – theage.com

3-13 10:29p

Hydrogen blast occurs at Fukushima nuke plant’s No. 3 reactor – residents near nuke plants ordered inside.

3-13 10:20p

Gray smoke spotted at stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi reactor

Also: Kyodo breaking news ticker: “Tsunami observed off Fukushima Pref.” – that’s where this reactor is

3-13 9:45p

U.S. Helicopters detect radiation 60 miles from Fukushima plant that experienced a partial meltdown. Concern over a wider problem growing.

3-13 6:36p

Radiation level again tops legal limit at Fukushima No. 1 nuke plant

The radiation level at a quake-hit nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture has again exceeded the legal limit, Tokyo Electric Power Co. reported to the government Monday.

The Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has been shut down since a magnitude 9.0 quake struck northeastern and eastern Japan on Friday, but some of its reactors have lost their cooling functions, leading to brief rises in the radiation level on Saturday and Sunday

From – Kyodo

3-13  2:25p

Official death toll in Japan is 1,597 although unofficial projections say more than 10,000 people may have perished in the disaster.

CNN:

The death toll from the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan late last week rose to 1,597, with hundreds more missing, authorities said early Monday.

Kyodo:

The death toll from Friday’s devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern and eastern Japan will likely surpass 10,000, the Miyagi police chief said Sunday as Japan grapples with widespread damage and a crisis at one of two affected nuclear plants.

3-13  12:29p

A third nuclear power facility, Tokai no. 2,  is experiencing cooling problems ..

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said a cooling system pump stopped operating at Tokai No. 2 Power Station, a nuclear power plant, in the village of Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture. – Kyodo

Tokai is just east of Osaka, Japan just off of Ise Bay

3-23 6:56p

Sky News: Japan: 200,000 Evacuated From Near Reactors

Around 200,000 people have been evacuated from near two Japanese nuclear power stations as fear spreads of radiation exposure.
Nine people had already shown possible exposure to radiation at the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear power plants.
But the figure may reach as high as 160, an official from the Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency told a news conference.

read more: http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Video-Japan-Quake-Nuclear-Power-Plant-Emergencies-After-Japan-Earthquake-And-Tsunami-Reactor-Risk/Article/201103215950844

3-12 6:10p

Dept of Energy educational material on nuclear reactors – Fukushima’s two troubled units are:

Unit 1:  Generation I, uranium fueled light water reactor

Unit 3:  Generation I, plutonium-MOX (mixed-oxide) fueled light water reactor

http://www.ne.doe.gov/students/electra_reactors.html

The plutonium MOX-fueled reactor would be more potentially hazardous to the environment and people should a catastrophic failure occur. Both reactors currently have failed cooling systems.

3-12 8:48am

Japanese government handing out Iodine near nuclear plant that exploded. http://bit.ly/ekG2jl

Iodine can be used to help protect the body from radioactive exposure.

In Japan on Saturday, radiation leaked from a damaged nuclear reactor after an explosion blew the roof off in the wake of the massive earthquake, but the government insisted that radiation levels were low.

Japan’s Jiji news agency later said three workers suffered radiation exposure near the Fukushima nuclear plant.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/12/quake-japan-iaea-iodine-idUSLDE72B0AM20110312

3-12 5:22am

Video of japan plant explosion

3-12 1:32a

Evacuation status near probably site of Japanese reactor meltdown:

(translation from Japan’s nuclear emergency site):

Evacuation situations ○ (now 13:20 on March 12)

Ookuma people to know the town (about 4,000), completion of approximately 3,500
Futabachō people to know (about 2,000), completion of approximately 1,800 people
Tomiokachō people to know (about 16 000 people) completed approximately 15 500 people out of
Namie people to know the city (about 17 000 people) is almost complete
Naraha people to know the town (about 7800 people) finished 9-8 percent of

• Completion of the evacuation, not yet.
– Once the shelter is full, will be evacuated to different evacuation centers.